Credit points




Unit description and aim

The ability to be able to identify, describe and understand the neuromusculoskeletal structures of the human body is central to exercise science practice. These knowledge and skills are consistent with the professional standards of several accreditation bodies, including those for Exercise Science.

This unit provides an introduction to anatomical terminology, and structural neuromusculoskeletal anatomy as a foundation of Exercise Science. It includes surface, gross, systemic, regional and developmental neuromusculoskeletal anatomy, foundational for understanding exercise, body mechanics, growth, skill development, movement patterns, and implications for health.

The aims of this unit are to provide students with an ability to identify, describe and understand the neuromusculoskeletal structures of the human body.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify organs of the neuromusculoskeletal system (GA5). 

LO2 - Classify bones and joints of the appendicular skeleton and describe and demonstrate the types of movement available at each joint (GA5). 

LO3 - Identify skeletal muscles of the limbs and trunk, describing their attachments and deducing their actions(GA5). 

LO4 - Demonstrate knowledge of the somatic innervation of skeletal muscles of the appendicular skeleton (GA5). 

Graduate attributes

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 


Topics will include: 

  • Introduction to anatomical terminology: anatomical position, planes, movements. 
  • Osteology: classification of bones by shape, function of bone organs, identification of bone organs and bone markings  
  • Arthrology: classification of joints by structure and degrees of freedom, identification and classification of joints of the appendicular skeleton 
  • Myology: classification of skeletal muscles by shape, types of muscle contraction, roles of skeletal muscles 
  • Muscles of the upper limb: names, attachments, actions, innervation. 
  • Muscles of the lower limb: names, attachments, actions, innervation. 
  • Muscles of the trunk (thorax, abdomen, spine, pelvis): names, arrangements, actions, innervation. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered over 12 weeks. This range of strategies will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for development of competency in the ability to identify, describe and understand human anatomy. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, as well as professional practice standards. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

It is expected by the course accrediting body (Exercise and Sports Science Australia – ESSA) that learning in the anatomy curriculum be assessed through written and practical tasks that require demonstration of key conceptual and theoretical knowledge and the ability to identify anatomical structures. As such, spot tests are used to assess competency in the skills of identifying neuromusculoskeletal structures and; a written exam is implemented to assess the student learning of the content. The assessment timing and distribution across the semester is designed to modularize the content to enable the students to focus on their learning during these specific weeks, and to provide timely feedback to guide progression through the unit. The emphasis on the practical application of knowledge through the use of multiple spot tests will build a foundation for students as they move through the curriculum.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Upper limb spot test 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in skills required for professional practice. 


LO1 – LO4 


Lower limb and axial skeleton spot test 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in skills required for professional practice. 


LO1 – LO4 


End semester written exam 

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of course content 


LO1 – LO4 


Representative texts and references

Abrahams PH, Boon JM, Spratt JD. (2008) McMinn’s Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy (6th ed). Mosby.

Biel A. (2005) Trail guide to the body: Student handbook. Books of Discovery.

Cael, C (2010) Functional Anatomy (1st ed). Philadephia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Dykes M, Watson W. (2007) Crash Course Anatomy (3rd ed). Mosby.

Floyd RT. (2009) Manual of Structural Kinesiology (7th ed). McGraw Hill

Green DP, & Roberts SL. (2005) Kinesiology: Movement in the Context of Activity (2nd ed). Mosby.

Levangie PK, & Norkin C. (2005) Joint Structure and Function: A Comprehensive Analysis (4th ed). Philadelphia, USA: FA Davis Company. 

Luttgens K, Deutsch H, & Hamilton N. Kinesiology: Scientific Basis of Human Motion (8th ed). Brown and Benchmark Publishers.

Martini, F., Nath, J. & Bartholomew (2015). Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology (10th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin/Cummings.

Neumann DA. (2002) Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations for Physical Rehabilitation. Mosby.

Palastanga N, Field D, & Soames R. (2011). Anatomy and Human Movement - Structure and Function (6th ed.) Butterworth Heinemann

William CW, & Zernicke RF. (2008) Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Injury (2nd ed). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

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